Judge won’t dismiss Macy’s claim against Martha Stewart

New York -- New York State Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Oing on Thursday refused to dismiss Macy's Inc's claim that Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia violated its contract when it designed certain merchandise for J.C. Penney Co., regardless of whether the items carry the Martha Stewart brand.

The ruling may impact whether Penney can sell Martha Stewart-designed home goods under a "JCP Everyday" label. The judge is expected to rule Friday on whether to temporarily block Penney from selling Martha Stewart-designed goods that Penney manufactured in that "Everyday" packaging, Reuters reported.

The judge once again stressed that he would rather the parties settle, rather than have him decide. The companies spent several weeks in mediation, but were unable to reach an agreement.

"This is a business deal that you should not have courts getting involved in," Oing said. "It's getting to a point where the clock can't be turned back. The ship is ready to sail."

In related news, the New York Post reported that Myron Ullman, Penney’s new CEO, is seeking a truce in the case.  According to the report, Ullman’s first phone call as CEO was to Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren.