Bloomsbury Publishing on Monday denied allegations that author J.K. Rowling copied "substantial parts" of a book by another children's author when she wrote Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the Reuters news service reported.
The book, published in 2000, was the fourth installment of the hugely successful boy-wizard Harry Potter series that has sold more than 400 million copies worldwide and been turned into a multibillion-dollar film franchise.
"The allegations of plagiarism made today, Monday 15 June 2009, by the Estate of Adrian Jacobs are unfounded, unsubstantiated and untrue," said a statement from Bloomsbury, which publishes Harry Potter in Britain. "This claim is without merit and will be defended vigorously."
In an earlier statement, Jacobs' estate said that it had issued proceedings at London's High Court against Bloomsbury Publishing for copyright infringement, claiming that Rowling had copied "substantial parts" of The Adventures of Willy the Wizard—No 1 Livid Land, written by Jacobs in 1987.