The case focuses on a 2003 Apple advertisement for its iPod music player, which depicted a young boy wearing the iPod's trademark white headphones and singing Eminem's "Lose Yourself" aloud. The rapper's music publisher, Eight Mile Style, contends that Apple did not have permission to use the song.
Judge Anna Diggs Taylor dismissed a pair of state-based claims but allowed the core copyright case to go forward against Apple, a court official said.
Apple's advertising agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day, had unsuccessfully sought permission to use the song, according to the lawsuit. The ad was subsequently posted on Apple's Web site and shown on television.
According to the lawsuit, Eminem--whose real name is Marshall Mathers--has never endorsed any commercial product on a national level. To win such an endorsement "would require a significant amount of money, possibly in excess of $10 million," the suit said.
Eminem is also suing MTV parent Viacom and TBWA/Chiat/Day.
An Apple representative declined to comment, citing the pending litigation. Previously, the company's lawyers have said people viewing the ad were unlikely to interpret it as an Eminem endorsement.