Apple featured a 10-year-old boy singing the Oscar-winning theme song to the rapper's movie "8 Mile" in an ad on MTV for the computer company's iPod music player and iTunes music service.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor ruled that the suit brought by Eminem's publishing company can proceed against several companies, including MTV parent company Viacom and advertising agency TBWA/Chiat/Day.
Taylor threw out two state law-based claims of unfair competition and unjust enrichment.
The television ad appeared many times during three months beginning in July 2003 and on Apple's Web site, despite the fact that the computer company had unsuccessfully sought Eminem's permission for the campaign.
Herschel Fink, a Detroit lawyer for the defendants, said no viewer would think Eminem was endorsing the iTunes service.
Eminem's lawyers say he has never nationally endorsed any product.