Willy the Wizard claimant loses court appeal

A claim that J K Rowling's fourth Harry Potter book plagiarised a work by author Adrian Jacobs may be thrown out of court by the end of today.

Paul Allen, trustee of the estate of Adrian Jacobs who died in 1997, has accused Rowling and her publisher Bloomsbury of plagiarising Jacob's book Willy The Wizard when she wrote Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. He has been attempting to sue Rowling for £5m.

Yesterday (14th July), Allen lost his appeal against an order demanding he pay £1.5m into the court as security for costs in the copyright action, and three judges sitting in London ruled the accuser must pay £850,000 by the end of today or the case would be struck out.

Rowling, who has always maintained she had never even seen a copy of Willy the Wizard until the action was launched in 2004, welcomed the judge's rejection of Allen's appeal.

In a statement, her PR company Stone Hill Salt said: "J K Rowling has throughout the case maintained that the claims made are not only unfounded but absurd."

If Allen pays the £850,000 by the end of today, further payments will be demanded later in the year.

The full trial is provisionally scheduled for February 2012.