Elton John insists ... he did NOT steal the lyrics to his song "Nikita" -- especially not from some NO-NAME songwriter -- despite a recent lawsuit that says otherwise ... and now, Elton's asking for the suit to be thrown out of court.
TMZ broke the story ... a songwriter named Guy Hobbs sued Sir Elton back in April, claiming Elton jacked his song lyrics ... then used them to pen the chart-topping 1985 hit "Nikita" ... without Hobbs' knowledge or consent.
But Elton is firing back -- filing his own legal docs in response, claiming, "The suggestion that the Grammy-Award winning composer/lyricist team of Elton John and Bernie Taupin ... would need to copy these commonplace elements from [Hobbs'] lyrics is not only baseless and absurd, but it also misses the essential legal point."
Which is ... Hobbs can't legally copyright an idea -- especially not something as broad as a theme involving a Western man falling for a Russian woman.
According to the docs, Hobbs believes Elton also copied his use of the EXTREMELY commonplace phrase "I need you" in the chorus ... as well as the words "just" and "never."
Bottom line -- Elton claims Hobbs' complaint is so vague ... the guy has no right to sue for copyright infringement, period.
Elton wants Hobbs' lawsuit dismissed stat. A judge has yet to rule.