Last July, a jury found that an eight-note musical segment from the tune had been lifted from the lesser-known song “Joyful Noise" from Christian rapper Flame -- whose real name is Marcus Gray. In turn, they awarded Flame damages to the tune of $2.8 million.
On Tuesday, California Federal Judge Christina A. Snyder ruled that the jury's ruling was not supported by the evidence in the case.
"A relatively common 8-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," Snyder wrote in her judicial opinion.
Subsequently, she nixed the $2.8 million in damages that were to be awarded to Gray. The rapper will still be able to appeal Snyder's new ruling to the 9th Circuit Court.
If Snyder had upheld the ruling, Perry would have been on the hook for $550,000 of the awarded damages, while Capitol Records -- which released the song as part of Perry's 2013 album, Prism -- would have been responsible for the remaining sum.
At the time of the original ruling last year, attorney Christine Lepera released a statement to ET on behalf of the writers of "Dark Horse," calling the jury's initial verdict "a travesty of justice."
"There is no infringement. There was no access or substantial similarity. The only thing in common is unprotectable expression -- evenly spaced "C" and "B" notes -- repeated. People including musicologists from all over are expressing their dismay over this," the statement read. "We will continue to fight at all appropriate levels to rectify the injustice."