Katy Perry has won a reversal over the ruling that she copied a Christian rap song for her hit Dark Horse.
In July last year a jury decided unanimously that the singer’s 2013 hit improperly copied a 2009 track Joyful Noise, by Flame.
Now US district judge Christina A Snyder has ruled the eight-rift sequence of notes was "not a particularly unique or rare combination".
The judge’s decision means Perry and her production team no longer owe Flame $2.8m (£2.3m) in damages.
Perry's lawyer Christine Lepera called the verdict: "An important victory for music creators and the music industry".
Judge Snyder said: "A relatively common eight-note combination of unprotected elements that happens to be played in a timbre common to a particular genre of music cannot be so original as to warrant copyright protection.”
However the judges stated that if an appeals court disagreed with her ruling, she would conditionally grant a new trial.
Flame's lawyer, Michael A Kahn, said: "When the jurors returned a unanimous verdict of infringement, I cautioned my clients that we had only finished Round 11 of a 15-round match and that the next round would take place in the court of appeals.
"We believe the jury was right and will do our best to restore their verdict on appeal.”
The band had been accused of plagiarising Taurus - an instrumental written by Spirit guitarist Randy California - who died in 1997. The track was originally released in 1968, three years before Stairway To Heaven and California - real name was Randy Wolfe - declined to pursue legal action during his lifetime.
In 2018 Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams lost their long-running lawsuit with the Marvin Gaye estate, after it was ruled their his Blurred Lines was copied from Gaye’s 1977 hit Got to Give It Up.
The latest result in the Stairway To Heaven case has been cited as a landmark in such music legal battles.