Weinberg v. Edelstein
Supreme Court, Special Term,
201 Misc. 343, 110 N.Y. Supp. 2d 806 (1952)
Plaintiff and defendant both operated retail stores in the same building, selling women’s clothing. The plaintiff’s lease entitles him to sell “ladies dresses, coats and suits and ladies sports clothes.” The lease with the landlord covenanted with the plaintiff “not to rent any other store in the same building for the retail sale of ladies dresses, coats and suits.” The defendant’s lease with the landlord authorized him to sell “ladies hosiery, gloves, lingerie, brassieres, girdles, bathing suits, sweaters, bags and accessories, blouses, skirts and beachwear.” The defendant displayed and offered for sale matched skirts and blouses. The plaintiff claims that this is in reality a two-piece dress, the sale of which is forbidden.
Plaintiff filed suit for an injunction to restrain the defendant from violating the restrictive covenant.
Whether, when a restrictive covenant interdicts the sale of “dresses,” it also precludes the sale of a “blouse-skirt combination,” sometimes also called a dress.
Injunction denied, and judgment for the defendant to be able to sell skirt and blouse combinations separately.
According to manufacturing, industry, and clothing trends the restrictive covenant’s use of the word dress does not apply to defendant’s sale of matching skirts and blouses, because they can be matched with other clothes and do not require the purchase of both.