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Apple touts expansion in San Diego amid patent trial with Qualcomm

Over the next three years, Apple said it will add 1,200 employees in Qualcomm's hometown.

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Apple is expanding in San Diego.

Getty

Apple and Qualcomm are duking it out over patents in a courtroom in downtown San Diego. But 13 miles away at an Apple Store at the University Town Center, the iPhone maker was dealing with other business.

The company on Wednesday held an event to say it's expanding in San Diego -- Qualcomm's hometown -- by building a new office in the city and hiring 1,200 engineers over the next three years. That's up from the original intention to hire 1,000 engineers, when the news was first announced in December.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Apple Vice President for Global Real Estate Kristina Raspe attended the event.

"San Diego will become a principle engineering hub for Apple with new positions distributed across a number of specialty engineering fields, to include both hardware and software technologies," said Raspe, according to a transcript from the event. "On behalf of our CEO, Tim Cook, we're thrilled to be in San Diego and look forward to making our contribution to San Diego's future."

Raspe said Apple already has 600 employees in San Diego County, and will add 170 of the additional employees by the end of the year.

The event comes on the third day of proceedings in a case in which the mobile chipmaker has accused Apple of infringing on three of its patents in some versions of the iPhone. One patent in question allows a smartphone to quickly connect to the internet once the device is turned on. Another deals with graphics processing and battery life. The third lets apps on your phone download data more easily by directing traffic between the apps processor and the modem.

Beyond that, Apple and Qualcomm have been engaged in a wide-ranging legal fight. The two are also battling over patent licenses, and their courtroom battle will crescendo in April when they meet again over those royalties for chips used in Apple's iPhone.

Apple declined to comment on the Wednesday event beyond Raspe's remarks. Qualcomm declined to comment.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday the companies continued their arguments in court.

Much of the testimony was over the patent that helps to direct traffic between an apps processor and modem, while also saving battery life. Apple tried to downplay the effectiveness of the technology in terms of power-saving.

But Russel Jacob Baker, an expert witness called by Qualcomm and a computer science professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said the patented tech saves 1.22 percent of power on smartphones. However, that's for smartphones in general, not specifically iPhones.

"In the end, I think the numbers I came up with are fairly accurate," he said. He said he thinks the tech is "very useful."