OpenAI alleges that Musk's lawsuit is an attempt to claim ownership of the success of a project he stopped supporting

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

March 12, 2024

2 Min Read
Elon Musk in front of a blue background. OpenAI rejects Musk's claims that it violated its founding agreement, arguing that no such agreement exists.
Musk's xAI is to open source Grok later this weekMichael M. Santiago/Getty Images

At a Glance

  • OpenAI rejects claims by Elon Musk that it violated its founding agreement, arguing that no such agreement exists.
  • OpenAI asks the court for ‘careful policing’ during discovery over concerns about giving Musk access to its tech.

OpenAI has responded to Elon Musk's breach of contract allegations in court, stating that the claims are often “incoherent” and based on “convoluted… factual premises.”

OpenAI submitted its first legal response to Musk’s lawsuit, which claims the startup violated its founding agreement to remain an AI research nonprofit went it partnered with Microsoft.

Bloomberg reports that OpenAI contends in its court filing that it did not violate any agreement, as no such agreement exists.

“The Founding Agreement is instead a fiction Musk has conjured to lay unearned claim to the fruits of an enterprise he initially supported, then abandoned, then watched succeed without him.”

Musk’s lawsuit demands that OpenAI make its technology open to the public. But in its response, OpenAI said his demands were “as extraordinary as his claims are contrived.”

“Musk requests an order compelling OpenAI to reorganize and distribute its technology in accordance with the terms of his fictitious contract,” OpenAI’s filing reads.

OpenAI has come out fighting since Musk filed his lawsuit. Last week, it published a series of emails showing that he supported their for-profit pivot and agreed some science cannot be shared.

OpenAI argues that Musk saw its success and brought the action because he “now wants that success for himself.”

Related:OpenAI to Musk: You're Upset We Succeeded Without You

“He brings this action accusing defendants of breaching a contract that never existed and duties Musk was never owed, demanding relief calculated to benefit a competitor to OpenAI.”

OpenAI’s filing expressed concern that Musk would gain access to its OpenAI’s “proprietary records and technology” during discovery.

Musk’s Grok will be released in open source later this week. But OpenAI has opted to keep the underlying mechanisms of its AI systems tightly guarded since the launch of GPT-4 last year.

The ChatGPT maker said that any access to its underlying mechanics needs to be “carefully policed” by the court.

OpenAI has also requested that the court designate the litigation as a "complex case.” This would ensure that the case is assigned to a judge who is experienced in handling complex cases, to prevent it from becoming unnecessarily burdensome.

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.

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