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Legal fight against Bass Pro Shops over for Bay area business

11:55 PM, Jan 13, 2013   |    comments
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VALRICO, Florida - A Bay Area small business owner's legal fight against a big box retailer is now over.

For six months, Kelly Morris, owner of The Simple Life Outfitters in Valrico, has been battling Bass Pro Shops since it came after him for trademark infringement. The sporting goods retailer claimed Morris' logo was too similar to its own.

Morris said over the weekend Bass Pro's founder, John Morris, came into his store along Highway 60 East. According to Morris, he shook his hand and apologized to him and his family for the legal battle. Morris added that it seemed the founder just recently learned about it and drove from his vacation in Ft. Myers to Valrico to talk to Morris.

"He and his wife were both here and they were just sincere people, and what they did and what he did means a lot to me in my book. Because it's not an easy thing to do," said Kelly Morris.

Morris said he was told all the opposition to his logo would be dropped. And just like that, the battle was over.

"We were all like, 'Is this really happening?' You know. How can it just stop? How can it just come to an end like this? Because nobody could have scripted what happened," said Morris.

The small business owner said he owes it all to the hundreds of people who supported him. Family, friends, and strangers posted on Facebook pages, angry at Bass Pro Shops. Some even vowed not to shop at their stores anymore. Morris is overwhelmed by it all.

"It's a dang good feeling. It's amazing," he said. "They got together and they put a stop to it. It wasn't nothing I did. It was all my friends and community that did it."

Morris said he is planning to do something to thank all the people who supported him.

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