And allegedly using it for a dog seat. But it wasn't Rolls-Royce.
UPDATE 12/29: Rolls-Royce has confirmed to CarBuzz that it is not responsible for the patent filing and has no affiliation with the lawyers responsible for the filing. While able to laugh at it, the brand has the utmost respect for fellow British automaker, Bentley. This story has been updated to reflect this new information.
CarBuzz has discovered a fresh Rolls-Royce trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the words "Flying Spur." Nope, you did not read that wrong. The application is still being processed, but if everything goes according to plan, Rolls-Royce will supposedly own the name given to Bentley's large luxury sedan and main rival to the Ghost.
The trademark may be filed under international category 012 for vehicles but initially specifies car seats for pets. Even more curiously, and perhaps suggesting a next-level trolling effort, accompanying documentation is a photo of two dogs in a carrier with a Flying Spur sticker on it.
This trademark filing is all kinds of weird, as the address listed is in Crewe - Bentley's headquarters - while Rolls-Royce is based in Goodwood.
Everyone who knows anything about cars associates the Flying Spur name with Bentley, even though both companies have used it on cars before. The third-generation Rolls-Royce Silver Spur was available in a Flying Spur trim for a single model year between 1994 to 1995. It was the go-faster turbocharged model, and only 134 were made.
Bentley's use of the name dates back to 1961 for the Bentley Continental S2 four-door saloon Flying Spur by H.J. Mulliner.
We dug through several trademark filings and found that Bentley owns the rights to Flying Spur in every country it's sold apart from two - the USA and Italy - where Rolls-Royce has ownership. According to the USPTO, Bentley lost the trademark on 1 February 2004 after a failure to respond.
After speaking to a representative from Rolls-Royce, we can confirm that someone has seemingly imitated the brand to complete this trademark filing. Curiously, the filing was made 19 years - to the exact day - since the last time Rolls-Royce owned this trademark in the US back in 2003. This indicates that whoever has played this elaborate prank likely has in-depth knowledge of the trademark system and a strong knowledge of the history of the Flying Spur nameplate for both brands.
This has to be a prank, but what might the aim of it be? It's a few months early for April Fools' Day, but it could be an eager fan trying to incite a trademark war between the two brands. It's not the first time we've seen such a war, as in 2021, Ford stole the Skyline nameplate from Nissan in the USA. Nissan hit back with a slew of Skyline trademarks for other categories just a few months later.
A Rolls-Royce representative made it very clear that the brand has no intention of starting such a war but did admit that the company sees the humor in this situation. They further confirmed that there is a strong mutual respect between the two brands, and that they share many clients who choose to own cars from both brands rather than one or the other.
This is a true mystery, and we've reached out to Bentley for comment on the matter to see if they know anything further.
Does Rolls-Royce intend to sell a host of pet products under the banner of Flying Spur? There's certainly a market for it. You can already order a Land Rover with a Horse Package and an Aston Martin DBX with a Pet Package. But the representative did say Rolls-Royce would definitely brand such equipment with its logo proudly should that ever be an avenue it pursues.
Until we get to the bottom of this, let's enjoy the mystery.