Elon Musk Drops Lawsuit Against OpenAI Before Hearing

Elon Musk interviewed by Chris Anderson at TED2017 - The Future You, April 24-28, 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED on Flickr

Elon Musk Drops Lawsuit Against OpenAI Before Hearing

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  • Andrea Miliani

    Written by: Andrea Miliani Tech Writer

  • Kate Richards

    Fact-Checked by Kate Richards Content Manager

Elon Musk dropped his lawsuit against OpenAI and two of its co-founders, Greg Brockman and current OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, on Tuesday. According to CNBC, a court filing obtained by the publication states that the case—filed in California state court in February—was dismissed without prejudice, meaning Musk can refile it in the future.

Musk, also one of OpenAI’s co-founders who stepped down from its board in 2018, accused the company of breaching its original mission by turning it into a for-profit entity. According to Musk, OpenAI was initially created “for the benefit of humanity.”

He withdrew the case just a day before a hearing with a judge was scheduled to consider OpenAI’s request to dismiss it on Wednesday. The reason for the dismissal isn’t clear.

According to Bloomberg reporter Rachel Metz, the fact that OpenAI requested the case be dismissed doesn’t appear to have impacted Musk’s decision to dismiss it. “The timing of this makes it sound like it felt like a good time based on whatever discussions they were having,” she said.

According to The Verge, there were inconsistencies in Musk’s case from the beginning. “Musk is straightforwardly alleging that OpenAI breached a contract that does not exist,” expressed the publication’s Editor-in-Chief Nilay Patel. “The complaint makes reference to a ‘Founding Agreement,’ but no such Founding Agreement is attached as an exhibit.”

OpenAI also denied the existence of such an agreement.

The dismissal also comes a day after Musk publicly criticized OpenAI for its new alliance with Apple and threatened to ban Apple devices from his company.

“If Apple integrates OpenAI at the OS level, then Apple devices will be banned at my companies. That is an unacceptable security violation,” wrote Musk on his social media platform X. “And visitors will have to check their Apple devices at the door, where they will be stored in a Faraday cage,” he later added.

Reuters reports that OpenAI argued in a court filing that the lawsuit wasn’t based on anything substantial and was just an attempt to stagger OpenAI to help Musk advance his own AI ventures.

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