Published October 18, 2010
The plagiarism lawsuit against “Harry Potter” author J.K Rowling, and her publishers, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, gained momentum when a British judge refused to grant their request to have the suit thrown out on Thursday.
The case involves detailed allegations by the Estate of Adrian Jacobs that Rowling unlawfully lifted a substantial amount of material from his 16-page book and used it in “Harry Potter: The Goblet of Fire,” which was published thirteen years after Jacobs’s fantasy book.
Jacobs died in 1997, a few years prior to the release of “Harry Potter."
“Both books tell the tale of a Wizard who discovers his true nature whilst a boy. Both books revolve around an International Wizards contest. In each book, the wizard only discovers his central task in a special bathroom, in both books the wizard must rescue artificially held hostages, from half-human creatures, acting as contest agents, to earn points and win,” Max Markson, a representative for Jacobs’s estate told Pop Tarts. “Adrian Jacobs created a fantasy world intertwined with the real world in which there are Wizard Schools, Villages of Wizard Brewers, Gambling Wizards, Wizard Chess played on Wizard Trains, special Wizard Hospitals, Wizard Travel by magic powder, apparently headless creatures, Elves as Wizard Helpers, International Gatherings of Wizards, Human Memory Erasers, etc. The Estate claims that all of these Jacobs’ concepts are echoed in Harry Potter and familiar now to Potter readers.”
Furthermore, Markson said that Jacobs’s literary agent Chris Little later “discovered” Rowling and now oversees the Harry Potter brand worldwide.
A rep for Rowling released the following statement: "JK Rowling welcomes today's High Court ruling in the claim brought against her by Paul Allen, the trustee of the estate of Adrian Jacobs deceased. After a hearing lasting 3 days the judge, the Honourable Mr. Justice Kitchin, made key findings in Ms Rowling’s favour. The claims are not only unfounded but absurd."
And, while the judge refused to dismiss the suit on Thursday, he did call the chance of it being successful as “improbable.”
According to Forbes magazines, Rowling boasts an estimated wealth of $1 billion and her seven “Harry Potter” books have sold in excess of 400 million copies and led to a successful film franchise and theme park.
“The case will most likely go to a full trial next year where Rowling will have to testify. I anticipate it to be a billion dollar case,” Markson said. “From that point, it could mean that every single country where the books were published is open to a court case.”