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Subject: Harry Potter plagiarism case dismissed

Written By: Philip Eno on 01/08/11 at 6:00 am

A US judge has dismissed a legal action accusing Harry Potter author JK Rowling of copying the work of another author.

The estate of late author Adrian Jacobs claimed that the plot of fourth Harry Potter outing Goblet of Fire plagiarised parts of his book The Adventures of Willy the Wizard.

Judge Shira Sheindlin wrote in her ruling that there were major differences between the two works.

She added they were "distinctly different in both substance and style".

"The contrast between the total concept and feel of the works is so stark that any serious comparison of the two strains credulity," Judge Sheindlin said in the 49-page ruling.

Scholastic, the US publisher for the Harry Potter books, said it was satisfied with the decision.

"The court's swift dismissal supports our position that the case was completely without merit and that comparing Willy the Wizard to the Harry Potter series was absurd," spokesman Kyle Good said.

"Scholastic will continue to vigorously defend any such frivolous claims challenging the originality of Harry Potter."

The estate of British author Jacobs, who died in 1997, had claimed Rowling copied the plots of his 1987 book including a wizard contest, and the idea of wizards travelling on trains.

When the estate filed a similar legal action against British publisher Bloomsbury last February, Rowling said that she had never heard of Mr Jacobs's book before the original copyright claim was made in 2004.

In October, the judge overseeing that case at London's High Court said that the claims were "improbable," but he turned down an application by lawyers for Rowling and Bloomsbury for an immediate dismissal of the case.

The first Harry Potter Book was published in 1997 and the series has sold more than 400 million copies worldwide.

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