Nearly eight months after the estate of late British author Adrian Jacobs filed charges of plagiarism against the UK publishers of Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire, they have decided to add the author of the book, J.K. Rowling, to the list of defendants in what they claim could be a $1 billion case.
The lawsuit alleges that Rowling replicated a substantial part of Mr Jacob’s 1987 book The Adventures of Willy the Wizard: No 1 Livid Land in Goblet of Fire, the fourth in the wildly bestselling series of books about teen wizard Harry Potter.
“I estimate it’s a billion-dollar case,” Max Markson, an agent representing the estate’s trustee said. “When you think of all the money that’s involved, I would say $1 billion is a conservative estimate.”
Rowling was initially left off the lawsuit because the Jacobs estate had been led to believe that the statute of limitations had run out on being able to file a case against her.
The suit alleges that the two books not only have very similar content, but that Jacobs, who died in 1997, three years before Rowling’s book was published, shared an agent with Rowling.
In a statement regarding the suit, Rowling 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.”
This is only the latest legal brouhaha for Rowling, who successfully sued the author and publisher of The Harry Potter Lexicon in 2008.