Google searches for Christian Porter spiked after the publication of an ABC news report outlining historical rape allegations against an unnamed federal minister, the frontbencher's lawyers have claimed.
Mr Porter last month launched defamation action against the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan for publishing what he says are "false accusations" he was the subject of historical rape allegations.
The woman at the centre of the allegations died in June 2020.
The West Australian MP has since the publication of the report changed roles from attorney-general to industry, science and technology minister.
In documents filed to the Federal Court, Mr Porter's lawyer Rebekah Giles said Google searches for Christian Porter after the February 26 publication of the article spiked to a greater extent than any other male frontbencher.
Ms Giles also stated that by March 3, a Google search of "who is the minister accused of rape" would return Mr Porter's name, and Mr Porter was widely identified on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Reddit.
The documents attempted to outline how the ABC report, which referred to an unnamed federal cabinet minister, ultimately identified Mr Porter.
Mr Porter revealed himself as the subject of the allegations on March 3.
"Part of Mr Porter's case will be inferential, based on the overwhelming material that we are now continuing to collate," Ms Giles said.
"There was an overwhelming number of members of the public who named Mr Porter as the minister the subject of the article but did not specify how they came to that knowledge. Some of those people contacted our client.
"His identification was reasonable even without knowing how each such person came to that conclusion."
Ms Giles also outlined Mr Porter's justification for claiming aggravated damages against the ABC and Milligan.
This included the failure to disclose that a statement purportedly written by the woman was unsigned or that the woman's parents were concerned she "may have confected or embellished the allegations".
Mr Porter's lawyers also claim the ABC and Milligan lobbied for an inquiry into the accused cabinet minister while he was still publicly unnamed, and called for him to be stood down.
This "would have had the immediate effect of publicly naming him".
They also accuse Milligan of directing her Twitter followers before March 3 to the #cabinetminister hashtag, through which Mr Porter was identified by members of the public.
Mr Porter is seeking aggravated damages, costs and removal of the article and related material on the internet.
The ABC must file its defence before May 4 and the case is scheduled to return to court on May 14.
Mr Porter's legal action is also aimed at a Four Corners report aired in November 2020 that alleged he was a misogynist and sexist.