This is short-sighted thinking. No one wins when primary design work is stolen (although in this case, as pointed out earlier, Canon's patents may have already expired). Without a company--Canon, Apple, [insert innovative company here]--being able to reap the rewards of their labor, investment and risk in R&D, they will have no incentive to develop better products. The patent system, though flawed, was created for a reason. It rewards innovation by giving the innovator a protected and relatively short period of time to establish their brand/product before everyone else is free to copy their design. If the design is good, and people are willing to buy it at the price offered, everyone benefits.
We vote with our dollars. I prefer mine to finance innovation and reward the risk takers.
So basically you are saying that without competition Canon will produce innovating products at a good price.
How is that working out? Nobody is better then Canon in any areas?
Also, didn't Canon start by coping German camera manufactures products?