Ron Newt, a former gangster who wrote a book and script based on his life called Bigger Than Big, sued Lee, Terrence and 20th Century Fox for $1 billion (£760 million) in damages in April last year (15).

Ron claimed the pair stole his life story for the plot of their TV show, in which Terrence plays Luscious Lyon, a drug dealer turned hip hop mogul, years after he told the actor his life story.

The author subsequently amended his complaint, reducing the damages sought to $10 million (£7.6 million).

On Wednesday (27Jul16) U.S. District Court judge Consuelo Marshall dismissed the suit, finding that there was no direct similarity between the plot of Empire and Ron's life, and any elements of similarity were unprotectable under copyright law.

According to The Hollywood Reporter in her ruling Judge Marshall wrote, "Although the parties’ works each follow an African American man who was involved in drug dealing and has sons pursuing a music career, Plaintiff’s works and Empire are not substantially similar as to plot."

Although there were similar settings and themes in Ron's book and script and the TV series, the judge stated that whereas the plot of Ron's book and script were focused on the facts of his life, Empire followed a power struggle within an African-American family.

"Plaintiff has demonstrated, at most, random similarities between the works which does not constitute substantial similarity," she wrote in her ruling.

Ron is not the only person to claim Empire includes plot elements from their work or lives. In August last year (15) former female drug lord Sophia Eggleston filed a $300 million (£227 million) lawsuit claiming her life story was the basis for the show's character Cookie Lyon - played by Taraji P. Henson.

The same month (Aug15) Jon Astor-White sued Lee and co-creator Danny Strong, claiming he'd pitched a similar show, titled King Soloman to U.S. network executives in 2007.

Lee and 20th Century Fox executives are requesting that judges also dismiss Jon and Sophia's lawsuits.