I could be wrong but in terms of cropping a FF sensor, patents may be involved. Nikon is doing it with its FF sensor, but again I believe patents may be involved here.
That would be the height of absurd patents. How in the world can you patent cropping?? (then again some patents are pretty absurd, but still, this would really take the cake)
I know! But I have done some patents in the past and cropping on a FF (or some aspect of it) is definitively somthing someone could try to patent, at least to make it more difficult for a competitor to replicate (allbeit not impossible!).
the "art" would be the in-camera implementation, file size management, etc. . I could see a technology patent possibility here... for example a viewfinder that would track the crop selection accurately. Of course, if it were Apple we would see patent application for the shape of the camera body, the right index finger shutter button location, the location of the tripod mount, and the fact that a lens can have a rotating focus ring.