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Rowling sued as author says she copied him

JK Rowling has been accused of stealing ideas for her best-selling Harry Potter books from another writer.

The author was named in a lawsuit claiming she stole ideas from other books.

The estate of the late Adrian Jacobs added Rowling as a defendant in a lawsuit it filed in June against Bloomsbury Publishing for alleged copyright infringement.

The lawsuit, filed in a London court, claims Rowling's book Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire copied substantial parts of Jacobs' 1987 book, The Adventures Of Willy the Wizard -- No 1 Livid Land.

Jacobs' estate, whose representatives are based in Australia, also claims that many other ideas from Willy The Wizard were copied into the Harry Potter books. Jacobs died in London in 1997.

Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire is the fourth book in Rowling's series and was published in July 2000.

Sydney agent Max Markson, who is representing the trustee of Jacobs' estate, Paul Allen, said Rowling was added to the lawsuit after Mr Allen learned that the statute of limitations to sue her had not run out, as previously thought.

"I estimate it's a billion-dollar case," Mr Markson said today. "That'll be the decision of the courts, obviously."

There was no immediate comment from Rowling.

In June, Bloomsbury said the allegation that she had copied from Jacobs' work was "unfounded, unsubstantiated and untrue".

Bloomsbury said Jacobs' estate first approached the company in 2004 with its claims, but was unable to identify any text in the Harry Potter books that was copied from Willy The Wizard.