Originally Posted by user_none
Pretty much everything you can think of when it comes to software has been patented. IBM holds a patent for debugging
that was filed in 2008...
Your link goes to a patent application, not a patent. That application doesn't give IBM any right to prevent people from debugging. Further, they aren't asking for a patent on all types of debugging, just a very specific type of debugging. It's unlikely that they'll even get rights to the specific type of debugging they are claiming in that patent application. Most of the time they will have to narrow their claims significantly.
Finally, IBM is notoriously hesitant to assert their patents. They are primarily used defensively when another company asserts a patent against IBM. They can often settle by cross licensing. I'm not saying they never assert them, but that they do so less often than many other companies considering they are the largest patent holder.