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Elon Musk demands OpenAI rename to ‘ClosedAI’ to drop lawsuit: Here’s what happened


In a surprising turn of events, tech mogul Elon Musk has filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and its CEO, Sam Altman, accusing the AI startup of breaching contractual agreements established during Musk’s involvement in its founding in 2015. Musk alleges that OpenAI has strayed from its original nonprofit mission, prioritizing profit over the advancement of humanity through artificial intelligence.

In an unconventional twist, Musk has proposed a unique resolution to the legal dispute. He announced on social media platform X that he would drop the lawsuit if OpenAI agrees to change its name to “‘ClosedAI.” The eccentric entrepreneur emphasized the need for OpenAI to align its name with what he perceives as its true business objectives.

“Change your name to ClosedAI and I will drop the lawsuit,” Musk declared, asserting that OpenAI needs to be truthful about its goals.

Musk, an co-founder of OpenAI who stepped down from the board in 2018, contends that the Microsoft-backed company’s profit-driven focus contradicts the initial agreement. Lawyers representing Musk claim that OpenAI’s pursuit of financial gains violates the core principles upon which the organization was built.

Adding a touch of humor to his stance,Musk changed a picture of Sam Altman wearing an ID card. He swapped the information on the card to say “ClosedAI” instead of OpenAI, and kept the logo the same.

OpenAI responded to Musk’s legal action by releasing a set of private emails exchanged with him on March 6. The company expressed disappointment in Musk, stating that he had inspired them to aim higher but turned adversarial by starting a competitor and subsequently filing a lawsuit as OpenAI progressed toward its mission without his involvement.

Legal experts have cast doubt on the viability of Musk’s breach of contract claims, raising questions about the lawsuit’s potential success in court. Nonetheless, the legal dispute has brought OpenAI’s internal conflicts into the spotlight, particularly regarding its governance structure, research transparency, and the pursuit of artificial general intelligence.

The abrupt firing and subsequent reinstatement of CEO Sam Altman in November 2023 have further fueled speculation about internal tensions within OpenAI. The company has initiated an internal investigation, led by the law firm WilmerHale, to probe the circumstances surrounding Altman’s dismissal and return.

Moreover, the investigation is expected to shed light on the internal conflicts that led to communication breakdowns, providing insights into the challenges OpenAI faces as it transitions from a nonprofit to a primarily for-profit business.

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