We all know what design patterns are in software design and development. These kinds of patterns also are recognized in unit and other kinds of tests as well.
While it is not necessarily a new idea, it is a good idea. Here are some links I have found on the subject. Further research should yield a whitepaper soon, if I ever get time to write it.
Brian Marick's testing.com: http://www.testing.com/test-patterns/patterns/
A great example at CodeProject: http://www.codeproject.com/KB/architecture/autp5.aspx
TypeMock Unit test patterns for .net: http://www.typemock.com/Docs/TestPatterns.html
Book: xUnit Test Patterns: Refactoring Test Code