An appeals court ruled today that JCPenney is allowed to sell unbranded goods designed by Martha Stewart. The company will continue to be allowed to sell goods branded as JCP Everyday or double-house, at least until the trial moves to a panel of appeals court judges, likely in the next week to ten days.
This move by New York Supreme Court Appeals Court associate justice Richard Andrias is a denial of the restraining order sought by Macy’s against JCPenney on Tuesday. The trial has kept investors on edge, as the embattled retailer is rumored to have more than $100 million in Martha Stewart goods in its warehouse – merchandise that would be useless without a favorable ruling. The judge did note that JCPenney must take pains not to associate the goods with the Martha Stewart brand. Goods placed under a Martha Stewart sign, for example, would be a violation.
Macy’s sought an injunction to ban the JCP from selling the goods, but it was limited by an earlier ruling to allow them to make sales as long as they don’t use Martha Stewart branding. The current ruling upholds and expands on that.
The trial should be wrapped up by April 26th, with JCP and Margh Stewart Living Omnimedia presenting their case next week.