The Prototype Pattern is defined in Design Patterns, Creational catagory. From Design Patterns:

Specify the kinds of objects to create using a prototypical instance, and create new objects by copying this instance.

This pattern consists of a set of Prototype objects, each of which defines a clone method to reproduce itself. The Prototype objects can all be instances of a single class or a tree of subclasses with a common base class.

This pattern is useful for systems where the classes used are dynamically loaded or determined at runtime. It can help reduce the total number of classes in a system by avoiding a set of factories that mirrors the class hierarchy of products.

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