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Last Updated: Friday, 21 April 2006, 16:28 GMT 17:28 UK
Delays to latest Dan Brown novel
Dan Brown
Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code was published in 2003
US author Dan Brown's follow-up to his controversial best-seller The Da Vinci Code will not be released this year, his publisher has confirmed.

"It's out of the schedule for this year," said Larry Finlay of Transworld Publishers, a London-based division of Random House.

"At one point we were hoping for it around October or November, but now it's looking like 2007."

The title and contents of the book have yet to be revealed.

A working title, The Solomon Key, has been reportedly dropped, though Mr Brown has hinted the novel - his fifth - will deal with the subject of Freemasonry.

The announcement follows a US federal appeals court decision on Thursday that ruled The Da Vinci Code did not plagiarise an earlier work by author Lewis Perdue.

In August 2005, New York judge George B Daniels ruled Mr Brown's book did not infringe the copyrights of Mr Perdue's 2000 novel Daughter of God.

Factual differences

The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision on Thursday, saying Mr Perdue's arguments were "without merit".

Mr Perdue had alleged that Mr Brown copied the basic premise of his book Daughter of God, including notions of a "divine feminine" and the transition from a female to a male-dominated church under Roman Emperor Constantine.

Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou in The Da Vinci Code
Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou star in the forthcoming film version
When Mr Brown sought a legal ruling stating his book did not infringe Mr Perdue's copyright, Mr Perdue countersued, seeking to block future distribution of the book and $150m (84m) in damages.

The case never made it to trial after Judge Daniels' decreed no jury could find the works "substantially similar".

The appeals court said it agreed with Judge Daniels' conclusion that while both novels tell a story based on religious and historical people, places and events, the factual details in each were quite different.

Meanwhile, Mr Brown is facing a fresh plagiarism claim from Russian art historian Mikhail Anikin.

The Da Vinci Code was published in 2003 and has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.

Da Vinci in new plagiarism claim
12 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
Court rejects Da Vinci copy claim
07 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
'No surprise' in Da Vinci judgement
07 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
Author Brown 'did not plagiarise'
06 Aug 05 |  Entertainment

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