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Macy’s, J.C. Penney in court over Martha Stewart

NEW YORK — Macy’s Inc., the second-largest US department-store chain, will go to court in New York Wednesday to try to persuade a judge to permanently block Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc.’s pact with J.C. Penney Co.

Macy’s sued Martha Stewart Living in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan in January 2012 to stop it from proceeding with an agreement announced with J.C. Penney the previous month. Macy’s claims it has an exclusive right to sell Martha Stewart-branded products in categories such as bedding and cookware.

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J.C. Penney chief executive Ron Johnson and Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren will both probably testify next week, as will Martha Stewart, her company’s nonexecutive chairman, Macy’s spokesman Jim Sluzewski said Tuesday.

In July, a judge granted Cincinnati-based Macy’s a preliminary injunction blocking Martha Stewart Living from taking any steps with J.C. Penney on products in the exclusive categories.

In August, Macy’s sued J.C. Penney in the same court, seeking to block it from proceeding with the Martha Stewart Living agreement. The judge denied Macy’s request in that case, saying that the company had not proved it was likely to succeed on claims that J.C. Penney had engaged in tortious interference and unfair competition.

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