NEW YORK — Limited Brands and May Department Stores have completed their court battle over non-compete contract provisions and are awaiting a decision.

As reported, Limited has been seeking to hire former Foley’s chairman Mark Weikel for a senior post at Victoria’s Secret Stores. May Co. removed Weikel from his post at Foley’s when it learned he was about to shift to Victoria’s Secret and felt that he violated a non-compete provision in his contract. Though not working, he is still being paid by May, but restricted from taking the Limited job until the dispute is settled in court.

Limited sued May, contending that the Foley’s division of May is not a competitor to Victoria’s Secret, and that Weikel was not violating his contract. Weikel’s contract at May runs until April 2005.

Disputes over non-compete provisions are not unusual in retailing, though they generally are settled out of court. However, in this instance, Limited and May went to trial on Monday in St. Louis County Court, in Clayton, a suburb of St. Louis. The trial concluded Tuesday, a May Co. spokeswoman said Thursday.

“Post-trial motions are now being considered,” the spokeswoman added. Asked when a decision might come down, she replied, “We just can’t speculate on that.”

While determining the future of Weikel, the case could also have implications for how non-competes are written into contracts and interpreted, and how the competition is defined.

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