US judge dismisses Willy the Wizard case

US judge dismisses Willy the Wizard case

<p>A lawsuit accusing J K Rowling of plagiarising parts of late author Adrian Jacobs&#39; book <em>Willy the Wizard </em>for the Harry Potter series has been dismissed by a US judge, Reuters reports. <br /><br />Jacobs&#39; estate had claimed that the plot of <em>Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire</em> copied elements of his 1987 novel <em>Willy the Wizard</em>, including the idea of wizards travelling by train and holding a wizard contest. <br /><br />Scholastic Corp, the US publisher of the Potter series, welcomed the move by judge Shira Scheindlin. In a <a href="http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/node/412" target="_blank">statement</a>, Kyle Good, vice-president, corporate communications said: &quot;The Court&#39;s swift dismissal supports our position that the case was completely without merit and that comparing <em>Willy the Wizard</em> to the Harry Potter series was absurd.&quot;<br /><br />The statement quotes the judge as saying: &quot;the contrast between the total concept and feel of the work is so stark that any serious comparison of the two strains credulity&quot;. <br /><br />In the UK, Rowling lost her bid to have a similar lawsuit, also based on claims by Jacobs&#39; estate, dismissed. In October Justice David Kitchen at London&#39;s High Court had said it was &quot;improbable&quot; the case would ultimately succeed. He issued an order forcing Jacobs&#39; estate to meet certain conditions if the case was to continue. <br /><br />Jacobs&#39; estate claimed Rowling&#39;s agent Christopher Little was given a copy of <em>Willy the Wizard</em>, which he later passed on to Rowling. Judge Kitchen said: &quot;It is inherently improbable that Mr Little would have thought it worth giving a copy to Ms Rowling some eight years later.&quot; </p><p>Responding to the case&#39;s dismissal in the US, Neil Blair, partner at the Christopher Little Agency which represents J K Rowling, said: &quot;We&#39;re obviously delighted by the decision.&quot; <br /><br />Commenting on the court case in the UK, Gideon Benaim, partner and media litigator at Schillings, the lawyers representing J K Rowling, said: &quot;In relation to the UK proceedings, there is due to be a court hearing in mid March where the judge will determine what conditions to impose on Paul Allen in return for allowing the &#39;improbable&#39; case to continue.&#39;&quot; &nbsp; </p>