This article came out today and states that another publishing company is suing the publishers of Harry Potter (Bloomsbury) for copyright infringement, alleging that portions of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as essentially stolen ideas and materials.
While I suppose it is inevitable that some portion of some book would have some kind of similarity to some aspect of one of the Harry Potter novels (it is, after all, nearly impossible these days to produce an entire work without borrowing from, alluding to or referencing an idea, event, character type, theme, etc. from another book, story, poem, idea, etc.), it does seem kind of fishy that the book in question is another 'wizard' book.
So, did JK Rowling knowingly borrow aspects of the book? Is there a foundation behind this argument? Can it be proven? If so, does it diminish her reputation as a creative genius? Does it somewhat lessen her impact on adolescent and pre-teen reading? Does it disqualify her as one of the greatest authors of the past 25 years? I think not. One thing is for sure: she did not steal a whole idea, as "parts" of the book are claimed to be "similar." She also vehemently denies any previous knowledge or reading of the book, making it entirely impossible to plagiarize. Perhaps it proves that there is a pre-determined direction for a book or idea to go in, regardless of the author's own bias, and that writing is truly an unconscious being in and of itself.