Bass Pro Shops ends dispute with Valrico company - FOX 13 News

Bass Pro Shops ends dispute with Valrico company

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VALRICO (FOX 13) -

In a rare move these days, a major company did what appears to be the right thing. 

"We never anticipated that happening," said Kelly Morris, owner of The Simple Life Outfitters.

Bass Pro Shops is ending its dispute with The Simple Life Outfitters over its logo.  It had claimed the small Valrico shop's image was too similar to their own.

"He goes, ‘My name is Johnny Morris,' and it didn't register at first who it was," Morris said.

In a gutsy move, company founder John Morris walked into Kelly Morris's store Saturday to apologize.  He and his wife were on a fishing trip in Fort Myers and had just learned of the dispute involving his company. 

He felt moved enough to make things right face-to-face.

"He stuck his hand out and shook my hand, and he said, ‘I just drove up from Fort Myers. Me and my wife thought we should say we're sorry for what my company has done for his family,'" Morris said.

Morris has already spent more than $2,000 of his own money fighting Bass Pro Shops.  The company's founder told him come Monday the legal troubles are over.

"He said, ‘I've seen your logo it doesn't look like mine ... if anything it looks better,'" Morris told FOX 13.  "For him to do that showed me a lot of character, a lot of character. He didn't have to do that. He's got plenty of people to do that for him, but it hurt him personally I could tell it did."

Morris said he still opposes using taxpayer funded incentives to lure Bass Pro Shops to Brandon, but he's just glad his other more personal issue with the company is finally over.

"We figured we're going to be in debt two more years trying to fight for this logo, and when it ended like that, I don't see how you could script a better ending," he said.

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