In this article we give a comprehensive review of the European Patent System with focus on the procedure, its typical
duration, the requirements that must be met at the various stages in order to obtain an European Patent and its related
costs. All the options available to the applicant are discussed in detail, potential pitfalls are highlighted, and the
differences between the European and US Patent Systems are analysed.
Furthermore, an in-depth and very informative analysis of applications and granted patents in the field of imaging
devices is presented including a study of their evolution during the last 10 years together with an analysis of the countries
and companies that are most active in the field of imagers.