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Author Sues Scholastic
Jim Milliot -- 3/13/00

Nancy Stouffer, an author who has argued for approximately six months that J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books infringe her trademarks, filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania last week, charging Scholastic, Rowling, Time Warner, Mattel and Hasbro with eight counts of trademark infringement and unfair competition.

Of particular concern to Stouffer is the use of the Muggles characters in the Potter books, which Stouffer claims violates her trademark. According to Stouffer, the Muggles first appeared in her 1984 book, Rah and the Muggles, and were trademarked in 1986. Representatives for Stouffer had been in contact with Scholastic late last year regarding her claims, which prompted the publisher to file a lawsuit in November asking the court to declare that the Potter books do not infringe Stouffer's trademarks and copyrights (News, Nov. 29, 1999).

A spokesperson for Scholastic called the Stouffer suit "completely meritless." The status of Scholastic's suit against Stouffer was unclear at press time.
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