(WASHINGTON TIMES) — NEW YORK (AP) — Macy’s Inc. has sued Martha StewartLiving Omnimedia Inc. in a bid to block a licensing deal between the housewares company and J.C. Penney Co.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in New York State Supreme Court. Macy’s claims that Martha StewartLiving’s deal with J.C. Penney violates the terms of an exclusive pact Macy’s has to sell Martha StewartLiving products at its stores, according to reports in the Wall Street Journal and other publications.

The complaint comes after Plano, Texas-based J.C. Penney acquired a 16.6 percent stake in Martha StewartLiving and announced plans last month to open mini-Martha Stewart shops inside most of its stores, beginning next year. The deal announced last month was seen as part of J.C. Penney’s efforts to reimage itself under its new CEO, Ron Johnson, a former Apple Inc. executive.

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