Feb 10 (Reuters) - Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia on Friday called a lawsuit from Macy's an attempt to "rewrite" the parties' licensing deal to block Martha Stewart Living from selling products in JC Penney Co stores.
In court papers filed in the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, Martha Stewart Living said a recently announced deal to sell items at JC Penney does not breach a deal already in place to sell certain merchandise exclusively at Macy's.
The Macy's agreement does not block Martha Stewart Living from designing new products specifically outside the scope of Macy's exclusivity rights, Martha Stewart Living said.
"Macy's simply has no exclusive right to [Martha Stewart Living's] creativity or design concepts, now or in the future," the company said.
Macy's filed the lawsuit in January, saying Martha Stewart Living had breached its exclusive 2006 contract, which runs, with a renewal, until 2018.
Martha Stewart Living not only denied that allegation but asserted claims of its own. In court papers, it essentially accused Macy's of using the Martha Stewart brand to lure customers into its stores, then making little effort to actually sell her products - a breach of the parties' contract.
"They have used Martha Stewart Collection products to draw customers into Macy's Home Store, where its own private-label brands take center stage and, of course, generate higher profits for Macy's," Martha Stewart Living said.
A Macy's spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.
The case is Macy's Inc. v. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc., 650197/2012, New York state Supreme Court (Manhattan).
(Reporting by Nick Brown; additional reporting by Karen Freifeld)
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