A songwriter`s claim for Britney Spears` hit record Sometimes has been dismissed by a judge in Indianapolis.
Steve Wallace said he wrote Sometimes in 1990 but did not formally copyright the song until 2003 - four years after Spears copyrighted her track.
His action was dismissed by US district judge John Tinder on 31 October.
"I cannot emphasise enough this was not a settlement but a dismissal," said the singer`s attorney, David R Baum, adding that no money would change hands.
Mr Wallace claimed that a few weeks after writing the track in 1990, he executed what is known as a "poor man`s" copyright - sealing his work in an envelope and obtaining a postmark.
The track was offered around to music publishers in 1994. Spears obtained a US copyright for Sometimes in January 1999. The lyrics of Sometimes were almost identical to those written by Mr Wallace, according to a side-by-side comparison submitted as evidence. Sometimes appeared on Spears` 1999 debut album, Baby One More Time, and on 2004`s Greatest Hits: My Prerogative.
Wallace`s attorney, John D Ritchison, said he had no comment to make on the verdict.