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Tuesday, 17 October, 2000, 10:18 GMT 11:18 UK
Legal fight to 'protect Potter'
JK Rowling
JK Rowling's creations are closely guarded
An American costume-maker is being sued for allegedly stealing ideas for its Halloween outfits from the Harry Potter book series.

Giant corporation Time Warner, which owns Potter merchandising rights, has accused Disguise Inc of "shamelessly trading upon the goodwill embodied in the plaintiff's valuable trademarks".

Harry Potter
Harry Potter has made millions for his author and publishers
The company claims Disguise is marketing Harry Potter-based costumes on its internet site.

A US district judge has issued a temporary order barring Disguise from advertising and selling the costumes until the case is resolved.

The Potter books, written by JK Rowling, have become a world-wide phenomenon. A film version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is in production.

'Aggressive' protection

Dale M Cendali, lawyer for Time Warner,said: "We're aggressively going to go after anyone who infringes on Harry Potter."

According to the lawsuit, the costumes company failed last year to obtain permission to sell a costume based on an illustration of Harry Potter on the cover of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Time Warner instead granted an exclusive license to a different costume maker.

Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint
Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint will star in the Potter film
The lawsuit claims the costume-maker admitted its use of "Harry Potter" as a keyword on its site was a mistake, but it denied that the costume was based on the book.

In an advertisement for Disguise's "Crimson Wizard" costume there was allegedly a reference to the "School of Witchcraft and Wizardry".

JK Rowling's books features the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the name of the school Harry Potter attends in the books.

No-one from Disguise Inc was available for comment on the lawsuit.

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