Musk Drops OpenAI Lawsuit Days Before Dismissal Hearing

Musk drops his lawsuit on behalf of humanity over claims OpenAI violated its nonprofit mission by partnering with Microsoft

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

June 14, 2024

2 Min Read
Apu Gomes/Getty Images

Elon Musk has dropped his lawsuit against OpenAI, the research lab he co-founded, over claims it breached a founding pledge to remain a nonprofit organization.

Musk filed suit against OpenAI in February over breach of contract claims. He argued that the research lab broke a founding pledge to be a nonprofit after it created a for-profit arm operated in partnership with Microsoft.

California State Court documents dated June 11 show that Musk requested to drop the lawsuit, just one day before a hearing on OpenAI’s attempt to dismiss the case was due to be heard.

Musk’s complaint has now been dismissed without prejudice, meaning he can refile it again.

The lawsuit was filed purportedly to save humanity, with Musk contending that OpenAI’s Microsoft deal could accelerate risks from artificial general intelligence or AGI, as the pair allegedly put profits ahead of safety.

Despite being the sole plaintiff, Musk said the beneficiary of the lawsuit would be “humanity,” though the complaint went to great lengths to show how he suffered financial harm from OpenAI’s partnership.

OpenAI responded to Musk's lawsuit in March by portraying him as bitter that the company succeeded without his involvement.

They released a series of emails in which Musk expressed support for the company's shift toward a for-profit model.

Related:Musk Threatens to Ban Staff From Owning Apple Products Over OpenAI Deal

The emails also contained Musk's suggestion of merging OpenAI into Tesla and his belief that OpenAI would have failed if it hadn't taken this step.

Senior OpenAI executives including CEO Sam Altman and president Greg Brockman said Musk only sued them when it started to make meaningful progress without him.

OpenAI even hired the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz to represent them — which Musk sued in 2023 after he disputed $90 million in legal fees owed over his purchase of X (formerly Twitter).

Musk has since founded a rival, xAI, valued at $24 billion following its recent $6 billion series B funding round.

He’s also become a vocal critic of OpenAI.

This week, Musk threatened to ban staff at his companies from using Apple devices with ChatGPT set to be incorporated into iPhones, describing the integration as “creepy spyware.”

Read more about:

ChatGPT / Generative AI

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

Keep up with the ever-evolving AI landscape
Unlock exclusive AI content by subscribing to our newsletter!!

You May Also Like