Recording stars Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams have been found liable for copyright infringement in a lawsuit accusing them of plagiarising the late soul singer Marvin Gaye in their hit single ‘Blurred Lines’.

The US District Court jury in Los Angeles sided with Gaye's heirs in the litigation, finding that parts of his 1977 hit ‘Got to Give it Up’ were lifted by Mr Thicke and Mr Williams for their summer 2013 chart-topper.

The jury verdict included a judgment of $7.4m to be awarded to Gaye's heirs, including $3.4m in profits that Mr Thicke and Mr Williams were found to have derived from the infringement.

Although jurors saw the 'Blurred Lines' video and heard the song, they were told to only consider the chords, melodies and lyrics of the songs, rather than production elements.

Long before the trial, 'Blurred Lines' was controversial.

The song contains the refrain 'I hate these blurred lines / I know you want it' and has been condemned by critics who say the lyrics refer to the issue of sexual consent.

The video features naked women parading before Thicke.

Several other parties sued by Gaye's estate, the rapper TI and various record and music companies, were cleared of copyright infringement on 'Got to Give it Up'.

Gaye's daughter, Nona Gaye, hugged her attorney and wept as the court clerk read the verdict capping a weeklong trial that delved into the boundaries between artistic inspiration and theft.

Listen to a comparison of the two songs