reasonable Video capabilities (5D II) really only happened to Canon. It was definitely not their innovation. Magic Lantern were the innovative ones, if anybody.
Yes...the firmware is everything. The sensor and hardware mean nothing
Image stabilization ... no Canon invention.
Canon advanced and deployed it faster then anyone else.
Ultrasonic AF drive .. no Canon invention.
Canon was first to market and advanced/deployed it faster then anyone else. It literally won them the pro sports market which they hold to this day.
If you use a narrow enough definition of "invent", most consumer technology is not "invented" by the companies that produce it. They can trace their work back to various scientific discoveries. Competitors are often close when it comes to R&D and file slightly different patents for the same thing. Not to mention companies buying one another, sharing patents, etc.
This is idiotic though because it's usually quite obvious when one company pioneers a new technology and gets it into the public's hands. I'm not sure who discovered the sonic motor configuration. But Canon very clearly pioneered its use in consumer photographic lenses. It wasn't until the late 2000's that Nikon started to deploy sonic motors to the degree that Canon had by the late 1990's!
Hi-def video in DSLRs .. hardly much of an innovation. Those who need it shall buy proper video cams. Should not be forced on regular DSLR buyers.
"It's not what I want so it doesn't count!"