Kaiser card game app leads to legal battle

A smart phone app has led to a brewing legal battle between two software development companies.

Rival software company trademarked Kaiser name

Kaiser has been a popular card game across Saskatchewan for more than 100 years.

Software developer Tod Baudais created Kaiser: The Card Game app. (Kaiser app)
Now, a smart phone app has led to a brewing legal battle between two software development companies.

Last year, software developer Tod Baudais made the card game into a smart phone app.

But in June, Baudais received a letter from another Saskatchewan-based software company, demanding that he take the app down.

Saskatoon software developer Kevin Currie has also developed software based on the Kaiser card game.

Currie owns the trademark to the name Kaiser. Currie says that the new app violates his rights and costs him money.

​Baudais doesn't agree.

"Kaiser is a game that's been played for 100 years, it's got roots back to World War One," he said. "It kind of struck me as odd that someone could trademark this."

Kaiser game developer Tod Baudais says he should be able to offer his smartphone app for sale. (David Shield, CBC)
Now, both sides have hired lawyers, and plan to fight this through the courts.

Baudais says his app has been downloaded 6500 times so far, but is free, which means he's not making much money on the venture.

He says he plans to fight this all the way to the Supreme Court if he has to.

"It's kind of a weird situation that I'm in," said Beaudais. "Why should I change the name, right? It's a game that's been played by tens of thousands of people for 100 years."

In a written response, Currie said he is in the right, and that Baudais needs to back off.

"All I am trying to do is protect my federally granted intellectual property that I have invested over 20 years with and over $200,000 dollars to my my business," he wrote. "I am not doing anything that is underhanded or disrespectful."

Baudais is asking anyone with stories on playing Kaiser to contact him through his website.


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