This white paper, from Semiconductor Insights, discusses how competitive intelligence gathered from examining recent patent applications can be used to better understand competitors via knowledge of their capabilities, plans and weaknesses. The need for competitive intelligence has become a crucial factor in many types of strategic investment decisions, including internal R&D investments, new product development and M&A due diligence. To gather this intelligence, a combination of software tools and human experts for patent classification was used to produce the results. A case study using the solar photovoltaic sector helps confirm it.