NEW YORK — A visual merchandising and branding firm here on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in Manhattan’s U.S. District Court against J.C. Penney Co. Inc., alleging breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets.
At issue is the oversize Plexiglas LED squares that Hudson + Broad designed as merchandise icons for Penney’s “Fair and Square” campaign. “Top level executives at J.C. Penney, including those who report directly to chief executive officer Ron Johnson, asked Hudson + Broad to develop a unique fixture with the promise that the proprietary product, if accepted, would only be ordered from Hudson + Broad and that the concept would not be misappropriated and bid out to other manufacturers,” said James Maharg, president of Hudson + Broad. “Yet J.C. Penney is doing exactly what it promised it would not do — which is a huge disappointment from a company claiming ‘Fair and Square’ as its image.”
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