A district courtin Hamburg has upheld a plagiarism claim brought by Warner Bros Entertainmentand J K Rowling against a German educational publisher.

According to thestatement of claim the company, Verlag an der Ruhr, published three schoolbooks related to the character, lore and trademarks of the Harry Potter serieswithout formal permission of approval.

The court heldthat school books needed to follow the same general rules for secondaryliterature under German copyright law as all other books. All three books weredeemed to be illegal - one for copyright reasons and the other two fortrademark infringement.

"Ms Rowling isproud that more children are reading as a result of Harry and on her behalf wehave encouraged this further through granting numerous appropriate licenses toeducational publishers in Germany and elsewhere," Neil Blair of the Rowling'sChristopher Little Literary Agency said in a statement.

"Allowing thepublication of plagiarised texts to continue unchecked would only have servedto undermine the joy to read of Ms Rowling's devoted fans.

"J K Rowlingwill, of course, be delighted with this outcome as all along her concern wasfor the many Harry Potter fans in Germany who have taken an interest in Harryand followed his journey over the years."

"For Warner BrosEntertainment and J K Rowling, the action was simply about stopping copyrightand trademark infringement and theft of a beloved intellectual propertydisguised as a school book," a Warner Bros Entertainment spokesperson said in astatement.

"We are verypleased that the court has agreed to main parts of our claims."