Patent application filed in a hurry, usually without claims, because of the risk of a publication, on-sale bar violation or intervening prior art if there was undue delay. Some systems, such as the United States, allow provisional applications as a special class, others simply treat them as incomplete applications.
Waves of provisional applications and omnibus disclosure filings precede major trade shows such as COMDEX or the GSM World Congress, because of the number of product announcements at those events. Many provisional applications are also essentially articles filed by the author immediately prior to publication. See Omnibus Disclosure.