Penney, Macy's court fight comes down to plastic pitchers

Tue Apr 9, 2013 5:21pm EDT
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By Karen Freifeld

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The legal battle between Macy's and J.C. Penney over who gets to sell what Martha Stewart products took a comedic turn on Tuesday when lawyers asked a judge to weigh two pitchers in his hands, one from each of the rival retailers.

At stake is the question of whether Penney violated the judge's order not to sell certain Stewart products.

Macy's Inc lawyer Michael Platt placed the two tastefully designed plastic pitchers on the bench in front of Justice Jeffrey Oing in New York state Supreme Court in Manhattan.

One pitcher was from the Macy's Martha Stewart Collection, Platt said, the other from J.C. Penney Co Inc's label, Martha Stewart Celebrations. (The Macy's pitcher is $30 online, the Penney model $12).

"Pick them up," the Macy's lawyer urged the judge. "They are both made of plastic. They both weigh about the same."

The judge obliged, lifting one in each hand.

Macy's wanted the judge to order J.C. Penney to pull the pitcher from its shelves. It claims Penney violated a temporary order barring it from selling Martha Stewart-branded products in tableware, bedding, bath and other home product categories.

Oing issued the injunction last summer after Macy's sued J.C. Penney and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc over their plans to launch Martha Stewart boutiques in stores.   Continued...

Martha Stewart holds a camera as she departs the New York state Supreme Court after testifying in Manhattan March 5, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson