Two songwriters who are suing Taylor Swift over her 2014 hit Shake It Off may have a case, a Los Angeles federal court judge has ruled.

Musicians Sean Hall and Nathan Butler have "sufficiently alleged a protectable selection and arrangement or a sequence of creative expression" says U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald, who also determined that Swift's "use as alleged is similar enough" to avoid dismissing the motion.

Hall and Butler filed the suit in 2017, when they claimed the 2001 song Playas Gon' Play they wrote for girl group 3LW was the inspiration for Swift's lyrics on her track.

Their song includes the lyrics "Playas, they gonna play, and haters, they gonna hate" while Swift's hit has the lyrics, "Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate."

Judge Fitzgerald previously dismissed the Hall and Butler claim in 2017, suggesting their lyrics didn’t have enough originality to deserve copyright protection.

However, the decision was overturned by an appeal court the following year, and now he has ruled the case can go forward, according to Deadline.

The songwriting pair are seeking a share of the profits from Swift's song, which has sold more than nine million copies to date. Swift's representatives have called their legal pursuit "a money grab", insisting phrases such as “players gonna play” and “haters gonna hate” are “public domain clichés”.