(Reworks with comments on British case continuing)
NEW YORK/LONDON Jan 7 (Reuters Life!) - A U.S. judge on
Thursday dismissed a lawsuit accusing "Harry Potter" author J.K.
Rowling of copying the work of another author when writing
"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire."
But the estate of late author Adrian Jacobs, which said the
plot of Goblet of Fire copied parts of his book "Willy the
Wizard" including a wizard contest, vowed to continue its legal
action in Britain's High Court.
The Goblet of Fire is the fourth of seven novels in the
wildly successful boy wizard series that has been turned into a
multi-billion-dollar film franchise.
Scholastic Corp (SCHL.O), the U.S. publisher of the books,
welcomed the move by judge Shira Scheindlin, quoting the judge
as saying "...the contrast between the total concept and feel of
the works is so stark that any serious comparison of the two
"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," the firm said in
Jacobs's estate said it regretted the U.S. decision, and was
considering whether to lodge an appeal.
"Jacobs' estate will continue to vigorously pursue its
claim in London," estate trustee Paul Allen said in a statement.
"The massive amount of evidence brought by the estate in the
English High Court included forensic linguistic analysis,
factual testimony relating to Rowling and her agent Chris
Little, and evidence from experts in children's fantasy
literature demonstrating startling similarities between the two
In October, a judge overseeing the London case said claims
made by Allen were "improbable", although he turned down an
application by lawyers for Rowling and her British publisher
Bloomsbury (BLPU.L) for an immediate dismissal of the case.
According to his estate, Jacobs, who wrote "The Adventures
of Willy the Wizard -- No 1 Livid Land" in 1987, had at one
point sought the services of literary agent Christopher Little,
who later became Rowling's agent. It added that Jacobs died
"penniless" in a London hospice in 1997.
Bloomsbury said Rowling had never heard of Jacobs's book
before the copyright claim was first made in 2004, almost seven
years after the publication of the first book in the Harry
Jacobs's estate said a 10-day trial was due to take place at
the High Court in February, 2012.
(Reporting by Elaine Lies and Mike Collett-White, editing by