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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 August 2006, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
Da Vinci case goes back to court
Writers Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh
Michael Baigent (left) and Richard Leigh's book was published in 1982
Two authors who lost a copyright battle over best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code earlier this year will have three days to appeal once the case resumes.

A preliminary hearing at London's Law Courts also agreed the Court of Appeal judges presiding over the case would have two days of "pre-reading" time.

Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh claim Brown took his central theme from their book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail.

No date has yet been set for the appeal, but it is expected in January.

Central theme

Baigent and Leigh lost their legal action against publishers Random House for breach of copyright.

They argued that Brown had copied their theory that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a child and the bloodline survives to this day. This was central to Brown's book, they claimed.

But the judge ruled the idea of a central theme was "artificial" and had been created solely for the purposes of the court case.

At today's directions hearing before Lord Justice Jacob, John Baldwin QC, for Random House, said unless Baigent and Leigh could show there was a central theme "they cannot succeed" in their appeal.

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