JK Rowling brands Harry Potter plagiarism claims 'absurd'

JK Rowling hit out at plagiarism claims against her Harry Potter series as "unfounded" and "absurd" today.

The multi-millionaire writer was yesterday named in a lawsuit claiming she stole ideas for her tales about the teenage wizard from another British author.

Rowling was added as a defendant to an ongoing legal claim filed against publisher Bloomsbury for alleged copyright infringement by the estate of the late Adrian Jacobs.

His representatives claim Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire copied parts of one of Jacobs' books about Willy the Wizard.

But Rowling today hit back, saying she had never heard of Jacobs, let alone read the book, prior to plagiarism claims first surfacing.

And she is applying to the court to have the case dismissed for being without merit.

She said: "I am saddened that yet another claim has been made that I have taken material from another source to write Harry.

"The fact is I had never heard of the author or the book before the first accusation by those connected to the author's estate in 2004; I have certainly never read the book."

She continued: "The claims that are made are not only unfounded but absurd and I am disappointed that I, and my UK publisher Bloomsbury, are put in a position to have to defend ourselves.

"We will be applying to the Court immediately for a ruling that the claim is without merit and should therefore be dismissed without delay."

The lawsuit related to Jacobs' book The Adventures Of Willy the Wizard No 1: Livid Land.

His estate claimed a number of ideas from the book were copied into the Potter series.

Sydney agent Max Markson, who represents Paul Allen, the trustee of the estate of the writer, who died in 1997, said: "I estimate it's a billion-dollar case.

"That'll be the decision of the courts, obviously."

Bloomsbury has already declared the copying claim was "unfounded, unsubstantiated and untrue".

The estate first came forward with its claim in 2004 but Bloomsbury said it had been unable to identify any text in the Potter books which had been copied.

Mr Allen said the estate was also seeking legal advice on whether the Harry Potter films and soon-to-be-opened Harry Potter theme park breached copyright law.