6.2 Civil actions according to the Swiss Code of Obligations

Actions according to the Swiss Code of Obligations (in addition to action for copyright infringement) are:

  • Action for handing over of profits (Art. 62 Para. 2 CopA)

Unlike actions for prohibiting (Art. 62 Para. 1 (a) CopA), remedying an existing infringement (Art. 62 Para. 1 (b) CopA) and providing information (Art. 62 Para. 1 (c) CopA), which, in terms of time limits, can be brought at any time, actions for damages must always be brought within a time limit and, moreover, assume that the defendant is at fault. These conditions also apply if the defendant is an accomplice or instigator. The time limit for these actions is one year from the date on which the injured party became aware of the loss or damage and of the identity of the person liable for it, but in any event ten years after the date on which the loss or damage was caused (Art. 60 SCO).

If the action for damages refers to an offence for which criminal law envisages a longer limitation period, that longer period also applies to the civil law claim (Art. 60 Para 2 SCO).

If the copyright infringement is within the scope of a contractual relationship (e.g. a publishing agreement) and the claimant can also demonstrate that the obligations under an agreement between the parties have been breached, the time limit is also ten years (Art. 127 SCO).