Former Formula One boss Max Mosley is suing Google, claiming the search engine is breaking German privacy laws by providing links to websites hosting a hidden-camera video of him at a sadomasochistic sex party.
The case is part of legal action Mr Mosley has said he is taking in more than 20 countries around the world.
Hamburg state court said Mr Mosley was not present when the hearing on his case opened today. It was not clear when a ruling would be made.
He successfully sued the News of the World over a 2008 story headlined "Formula One boss has sick Nazi orgy with five hookers."
Mr Mosley has acknowledged the orgy, but says the story was an "outrageous" invasion of privacy and the Nazi allegation was damaging and "completely untrue". The session ended with the court giving lawyers until October 26 to provide more information.