Although the legislation establishing the provisional patent application (US), has been around since the Clinton Administration (e.g. 1994), the benefits of the procedure are not always well understood.  The provisional patent application process enables inventors to have the initial filing date, which can be quite helpful in a changing technological market. For a complete survey of the benefits and requirements of filing a US provisional patent application, this Internet Business Law Service, is a great start.

Internet Business Law Service – Provisional Patent Applications