0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Harry Potter and the alleged plagiarism

13 January 2011

The estate of Willy the Wizard’s creator has suffered a setback in his quest to claim damages for copyright infringement from JK Rowling and Bloomsbury. Readers will remember that the English High Court refused to dismiss the claim at a summary stage, because the case did have some chance of success (though the judge seriously doubted the strength of the claim).

Now, in parallel proceedings brought in the US, the claim has been dismissed, the court concluding that the two books were “distinctly different in both substance and style”.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the claim is doomed to failure over here – a substantial part of the original book must be shown to have been copied, but there have been many cases where this has been demonstrated despite the resulting text looking very different in its totality from the original. But it certainly hasn’t helped Willy’s cause, and may yet prompt a settlement of the UK action.

related opinions

A brief update on probate

A new online system for probate applications was introduced in early October 2019, which will allow us to process and track applications for grants of probate online.

View blog

Bailleurs et locataires, vos baux commerciaux sont-ils armés pour résister à l' épreuve du futur?

Durant les deux dernières semaines, nous avons connu vu une nouvelle vague d’annonces concernant de grandes enseignes du commerce britannique.

View blog

The importance of three magic words: subject to contract

A recent case illustrates the importance of ensuring that all emails discussing the terms of a proposed acquisition are headed ‘subject to contract’.

View blog

Retailers and landlords, are your commercial leases future-proof?

The last two weeks have seen yet another flurry of announcements regarding big high street names including Thomas Cook, Argos, Karen Millen and Coast.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up