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Appeals court upholds California ban on sale of foie gras

California’s ban on the sale of foie gras, made from the livers of force-fed ducks, remains in effect after a U.S. appeals court upheld a lower-court decision not to block the law.

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Oil companies follow smartphones in patents grab

The impulse to patent harks to Silicon Valley as companies stake their claims to new techniques and equipment for hydraulic fracturing, automated drilling and computer software that helps find and reach oil and gas deposits.

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MERS wins dismissal of filing-fees suit

Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. persuaded a judge to throw out a lawsuit by two Minnesota counties claiming the use of MERS to avoid paying mortgage-assignment filing fees violates state law.

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Same-sex couples in legal maze

Couples living in states where same-sex marriage is legal should have little problem qualifying for federal spousal benefits once agencies begin processing requests. But couples living in other states are now facing a legal landscape that one attorney described as “a complete mess.”

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