Patents can give you important information about competitors and their inventions.
Most Western countries have now made their patent collections, 60 million, from around the world available online in the database Espacenet.
You can also see if a company has taken patents in the database Orbis. Choose the Tab Patents in Orbis Classic.
Your access to information and data on companies depends to a large extent on the type of company in question. You can always begin by consulting the company’s own website.
Stock market quoted companies: finding information is easy, since there are specific requirements for them to provide information. Ticker symbol Lookup. Find the Ticker symbol for shares and other securities. See our databases.
Unquoted private companies and other types of companies, e.g. private limited companies: must report their annual accounts and additional company information. This information is open to all and can be found in for example the library’s databases – see them on this page. Company types – overview of abbreviations.
One-man firms: are usually not obliged to report their annual accounts. Consequently, only basic information is generally available.
Orbis is the most important databases for basic information on companies.