Jones sued estate officials and Sony Music Entertainment executives in 2013, seeking upwards of $10 million (£8.1 million).

He claimed the defendants re-edited songs like Billie Jean and Thriller for the This Is It concert film and Cirque du Soleil's Jackson-inspired shows in a bid to deprive him of royalties.

Jackson's estate and Sony Music executives have denied any wrongdoing, but on Wednesday (18Jan17) Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael L. Stern denied a motion for a summary judgment.

According to Billboard, the judge ruled evidence in the lawsuit warrants further examination. A court hearing is scheduled for 21 February (17).

Last year (Feb16), the judge denied a similar motion and ordered the case to trial. On Wednesday, he explained he was dismissing the motion again because he was presented with many of the same arguments last year (16).

"I hate to sound trite, but it really is deja vu all over again," Stern said.