1709 Blog: for all the copyright community

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Wizard gears up for ten-day tangle with boy magician


Word is now spreading about the news that Scottish author JK Rowling and Bloomsbury Publishing have failed in their bid to prevent an unwanted copyright infringement action getting to court.  A a 10-day Chancery Division trial is now expected, following today's ruling by Mr Justice Kitchin here that Paul Allen, the trustee of the estate of Willy the Wizard author Adrian Jacobs, has an arguable copyright infringement claim against the author and publisher of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

JK Rowling and Bloomsbury (her UK publisher) both deny all of the claims and argued that, since they were groundless, they should be dismissed summarily. However, after an interim hearing in July which lasted three days, Kitchin J has now concluded that the claim may succeed and would not therefore be dismissed at this early stage. Acting for Allen, Nick Kounoupias (DMH Stallard LLP) said
"This is precisely the result we expected. We were surprised that any attempt was made to dispose of the claim at this stage and before all the relevant documents had been made available. ... If the claim does proceed then JK Rowling and Bloomsbury will be required to explain how the similarities between the two works came about, when to date there has been a refusal to disclose key manuscripts and notebooks despite our request that they do so.”
This blog will be watching developments with interest.
See also the IPKat post here; Sydney Morning Herald here; Matin (Quebec) here; RP-online here.

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