Intellectual Property Office chief exec Tim Moss reflects on the inspiration of the heroes of World War 1

Written by Tim Moss on 30 December 2018 in Feature

With the end of 2018 fast approaching, we asked the UK's top civil servants to look back at the year, outline their goals for 2019 – and tell us who would turn on their town’s Christmas lights.

British soldiers eat ice-cream at Boulogne in France in 1914. Photo: PA

What was your highlight of 2018?

My personal highlight of 2018 was heading over to Canada, catching up with relatives – some I hadn’t seen for years – and exploring the west coast of this beautiful country, including an amazing couple of hours following two orcas swim up through the islands near Tofino and then seeing a black bear and her cub hunt for crabs on the shoreline. Also being pummelled by the waves while attempting to surf in the Pacific Ocean was pretty special.

What was the hardest part of being a leader in 2018?

The hardest part of 2018 from a leadership perspective has been, unsurprisingly, managing the uncertainty around EU Exit and the impact on the IP system and our customers, managing the significant systems change project associated with this and the impact this has had in limiting the progressing of some elements of our new strategy.

What are the main challenges facing your organisation in the coming year?

For 2019 I expect the main challenges will continue this theme and be managing a smooth transition for two million Trade Mark and Design European rights holders if we are in a no deal scenario. If we are in a withdrawal agreement world, the biggest challenge will be driving forward our ambitious digital transformation plans at pace.

Which celebrity or historical figure would you choose to turn on the Christmas lights in your town, and why?

As I am writing this just after Armistice Day and having spent the weekend at a number of moving and inspiring events in our town my choice to turn on the Christmas lights would be the 61 men and women from Llantwit Major who paid the ultimate sacrifice in WW1.

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Tim Moss
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Tim Moss is the chief executive of the Intellectual Property Office

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