During the last decade, spread spectrum techniques have become more and more popular in the field of mobile communication systems. In particular, satellite systems (GPS and Galileo) as well as the third generation radio mobile system have adopted the direct sequence spread spectrum as the communication technology of the physical layer. The receiver must first perform a code acquisition and then maintain a fine synchronization with the transmitter, to exploit all the advantages of the spread spectrum technique. This paper aims at presenting a review of recent patents, and state of art solutions as well, in the field of code acquisition and synchronization for spread spectrum systems. Finally, a discussion pointing out the current and future developments in this area summarizes the remarkable points of this work.