This review paper reports on recent patents regarding integrated optical active devices, namely amplifiers and lasers based on silicon. It is crucial to point out a standard and unique platform for integrating optic and electronic components together. Nevertheless, integrated optics does not have its standard platform and it is still struggling to find the most competitive way for achieving light generation and amplification onto a single silicon chip. Different solutions have been proposed so far, and the more promising are hybrid integration and silicon photonics. Even if the first approach allowed the actual fabrication of integrated optical chips, it cannot guarantee total compatibility with current electronic fabrication methods, thus, it is expensive for large-scale production. On the other hand, silicon photonics suffers from the unsuitability of bulk silicon as emitting material, and as a consequence, several innovative solutions have been patented to achieve efficient light emission from silicon-based materials. To assure low-cost those solutions should be CMOS compatible. Here we focused on the patents that have represented a technological breakthrough or a milestone for hybrid integration or silicon photonics, highlighting advantages but also issues that have still to be addressed.