NEW YORK — J.C. Penney Co. Inc. and Martha Stewart may want to wait to uncork the Champagne.
An appeals court judge said late Tuesday that Penney’s would be unable to sell Martha Stewart-designed goods bearing the “JCP Everyday” and “double-house” logos in its stores until Thursday, when he renders a final ruling on whether to grant Macy’s Inc. a temporary restraining order.
Penney’s can sell the goods on its Web site, however, and it currently has the wares up for sale there until instructed otherwise.
The decision, which was rendered by New York Associate Appellate Court Judge Richard Andrias, comes after New York Supreme Court Judge Jeffrey Oing ruled that Penney’s could sell the goods. Oing’s ruling on Friday denied Macy’s’ request to broaden the preliminary injunction that he issued over the summer to include wares designed by Stewart. Under the existing injunction, Penney’s can’t sell certain goods that fall under Macy’s exclusive categories that are branded with the Martha Stewart trademark.
Should Andrias grant Macy’s the temporary restraining order, Penney’s will be barred from selling the unbranded goods until a panel of appeals court judges mulls over whether to reverse Oing’s decision and decide on a host of other rulings he made last week. This will likely take place within a week to 10 days, according to Macy’s.
Calling Andrias “very competent,” Oing professed his respect for his colleague, but noted in court Wednesday: “I think he may reverse me, but that’s OK.”
Whether or not that transpires, the trial will continue Thursday morning with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. trying its side of the case.
The breach of contract trial, which began in late February, pits Macy’s against MSLO and Penney’s. In late 2011, MSLO inked a deal with Penney’s to design goods for its stores bearing the Martha Stewart trademark. As part of the transaction, Penney’s also paid $38.5 million for a 16.6 percent stake in MSLO and two board seats. By doing this, Macy’s claims, MSLO violated its contract, which it signed in 2007 and renewed last year, to design wares for the retailer in exclusive product categories.
Although Macy’s rested its case last week, its lead attorney, Theodore Grossman, tried Wednesday to reopen discovery on products MSLO designed for Penney’s. That request was quickly shot down, as Oing, whose patience has been wearing thin, told the lawyer that his side of the case was “done.”
“I’m ready to take on the defendants’ case,” Oing said. “This case has got to be wrapped up by next Friday, April 26.”
MSLO attorney Eric Seiler chimed in, adding: “You don’t get a do-over in the middle [of the trial].”
Seiler said starting Thursday morning, he intends to prove that there was no “design exclusivity” written into the Macy’s-MSLO contract, and that his client was free to design for any partner, in any product categories. He wouldn’t “push” the issue of contract violation, however.
Penney’s lawyer Mark Epstein did not outline his case but noted that he would be able to wrap up his side by April 26 as well. Oral arguments are likely to take place soon after, as both Oing and Seiler have other trials coming up.
Before adjourning for the afternoon, Oing addressed the issue of the Martha Stewart-branded stemware currently being sold by Penney’s. Macy’s contends that this is a violation of the preliminary injunction, but Penney’s and MSLO said the merchandise, including plastic glasses and pitchers, falls under the “celebrations” category, which isn’t covered under the Macy’s contract.
“It’s not as pressing,” Oing told Grossman, adding that he should enter a motion to “enforce” the injunction and that he will decide the issue from there.
Grossman seemed a bit exasperated, even though he had been beaming earlier from Andrias’ decision.
“This isn’t a game of roulette,” the lawyer said. “This isn’t a game of chance.”
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews