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Jiayuan Company v. Sandery Company (Case of Contract Dispute)
家园公司诉森得瑞公司合同纠纷案
【法宝引证码】

Jiayuan Company v. Sandery Company (Case of Contract Dispute)
(Case of Contract Dispute)
家园公司诉森得瑞公司合同纠纷案

Jiayuan Company v. Sandery Company

 

家园公司诉森得瑞公司合同纠纷案

(Case of Contract Dispute) 【裁判摘要】
 合同的显失公平,是指合同一方当事人利用自身优势,或者利用对方没有经验等情形,在与对方签订合同中设定明显对自己一方有利的条款,致使双方基于合同的权利义务和客观利益严重失衡,明显违反公平原则。
 双方签订的合同中设定了某些看似对一方明显不利的条款,但设立该条款是双方当事人真实的意思表示,其实质恰恰在于衡平双方的权利义务。在此情形下,合同一方当事人以显失公平为由请求撤销该合同条款的,不应予以支持。
 
BASIC FACTS 原告:天津开发区家园房地产营销有限公司,住所地:天津经济技术开发区腾飞路。
Plaintiff: Jiayuan Real Estate Marketing Co., Ltd. of Tianjin Development Zone, located at Tengfei Road of Tianjin Economic and Technical Development Zone. 法定代表人:张美怡,该公司总经理。
Legal Representative: Zhang Meiyi, general manager of the company. 被告:天津森得瑞房地产经营有限公司,住所地:天津市津南区长青科工贸园区。
Defendant: Tianjin Sandery Real Estate Development Co., Ltd., located at Changqingke Industry and Trade Park of Jinnan District, Tianjin. 法定代表人:李德福,该公司董事长。
Legal Representative: Li Defu, president of the company. 原告天津开发区家园房地产营销有限公司(以下简称家园公司)因与被告天津森得瑞房地产经营有限公司(以下简称森得瑞公司)发生特许经营合同纠纷,向天津市津南区人民法院提起诉讼。
Jiayuan Real Estate Marketing Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Jiayuan Company) brought a lawsuit to Jinnan District People's Court of Tianjin Municipality against Tianjin Sandery Real Estate Development Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Sandery Company) for the dispute over franchise contract. 原告家园公司诉称:原告与被告森得瑞公司于2004年3月9日签订《加盟特许经营合同》,约定了双方的权利义务,其中包括竞业禁止和保守商业秘密的条款。合同开始履行后,双方又于2005年5月16日签订了《解除合同协议书》,该协议书第五条规定:合同解除后,家园公司还必须遵守合同约定的竞业禁止和保守商业秘密的条款。但依据相关法律、司法解释,该条款显失公平,故请求法院依法判令撤销该条款。
Jiayuan Company claimed that: it concluded a Franchise Contract with Sandery Company on March 9th, 2004, which stipulated both parties' rights and obligations and clauses on prohibition of business strife and keeping trade secrets. After the Franchise Contract came into force, both parties concluded an Agreement on Terminating the Franchise Contract on May 16th, 2005, and it was stipulated in Article 5 of the Agreement that after the Franchise Contract is terminated, Jiayuan Company shall still be bound by the clauses on prohibiting business strife and keeping trade secrets as stipulated in the Contract. According to the relevant laws and judicial interpretations, such clause is obviously unfair. So the plaintiff requests for canceling such article. 被告森得瑞公司辩称:被告与原告家园公司签订的《加盟特许经营合同》和《解除合同协议书》,均是双方在平等协商的前提下自愿达成的协议,其中约定的竞业禁止条款及保守商业秘密条款不违反法律、行政法规,也不违反公平原则,请求驳回原告的诉讼请求。
Sandery Company pleaded that: both the Franchise Contract and the Agreement on Terminating the Contract were concluded by the defendant and Jiayuan Company on their free wills and upon fair negotiations. The clauses on prohibiting business strife and keeping trade secrets did not violate laws, administrative regulations or equitable principle. So the defendant requests the court to dismiss the plaintiff's claim. 
PROCEDURAL POSTURE 天津市津南区人民法院经审理查明:
Upon trial, Jinnan District People's Court of Tianjin found out that: 被告森得瑞公司与案外人北京埃菲特国际特许经营咨询服务有限公司于2003年5月25日签订《CENTURY 21区域特许经营合同》,森得瑞公司取得在中国天津地区及廊坊地区(以下简称特许区域)的 CENTURY 21系统使用和独占分许可权,并有权再次分许可第三方使用CENTURY 21系统。2004年3月9日,原告家园公司与森得瑞公司签订了一份《加盟特许经营合同》,该合同第7.3.4条竞业禁止条款约定:“未经甲方(森得瑞公司)事先书面同意,乙方(家园公司)以及任何一个乙方关系人或关联企业(定义见本合同释义)在本合同有效期间内和期满或终止后两年内不得直接或间接地以高级主管、董事、股东及其他任何身份或名义投资、经营或管理任何位于‘核准地点'周围75公里范围内(如超出本特许区域地理范围,以本特许区域的范围为准)的其他房地产中介机构或相关企业(但不包括另一个CENTURY 21加盟店)或拥有或持有该中介机构百分之十以上的股权。”第7.4.8条商业秘密条款约定:“乙方承诺,由甲方根据本合同透露给乙方的有关CENTURY 21系统、CENTU- RY 21特许权和CENTURY 21材料以及甲方服务和产品的经营和业务知识,其中包括但不限于在会议、研讨会、培训课程、会谈或地区营业规范手册或其他材料和/或单店营业规范手册中随时透露的信息和资料,是甲方独家的保密的商业秘密。乙方同意其将在本合同有效期内和之后对所有这些资料保守绝对秘密,并同意不在甲方没有特别授权和批准的任何其他业务中或以其他方式使用这些资料。”第14.13条约定:“乙方同意在本合同期满或提前终止后的2年内,不在核准地点或任何CENTU- RY21世纪加盟店所在地点周围75公里内设立房地产中介机构或办公室,经营本合同中所定义的特许业务。”2005年5月16日,家园公司和森得瑞公司就解除《加盟特许经营合同》的相关事宜达成协议,签订了《解除合同协议书》,其中第四条约定家园公司须交回《加盟特许经营合同》及其附件的原件,第五条约定《加盟特许经营合同》解除后,家园公司还必须遵守《加盟特许经营合同》中有关竞业禁止和保守商业秘密条款所确定的义务。
On May 25th, 2003, Sandery Company concluded a CENTURY 21 Regional Franchise Contract with Beijing Aifeite International Franchise Consulting Service Co., Ltd. and acquired the right to use CENTURY 21 system and the exclusive right to sublicense the use of the system in Tianjin and Langfang. On March 9th, 2004, Jiayuan Company and Sandery Company concluded a Franchise Contract and Article 7.3.4 stipulated on prohibiting business strife that: “Without obtaining the written consent of Party A (Sandery Company) beforehand, neither Party B (Jiayuan Company) nor any of its interested parties and affiliated enterprises (see interpretations of this Contract for definitions) may, in the duration of this Contract or within 2 years after this Contract expires or is terminated, directly or indirectly invest in, operate or manage any other real estate intermediary organ or any relevant enterprise (excluding any other CENTURY 21 franchise store) located no more than 75kms far from the ‘approved place” as the senior executive, director or shareholder, etc., or own or hold 10% or more stocks of the intermediate organ.” Article 7.4.8 stipulated on keeping trade secrets that: “Party B agrees that CENTURY 21 system, CENTURY 21 franchise right, CENTURY 21 materials and operation and business knowledge about the services and products of Party A as authorized and disclosed by Party A to Party B in accordance with this Contract, which include but not limited to the information and materials disclosed in meetings, forums, training programs, talks, regional business norms manual and business norms manual for a single outlet, etc., are trade secrets exclusively owned by Party A. Party B promises to keep these materials as top secrets in and after the duration of this Contract and promises not using these materials in any business not specially authorized and approved by Party A.” Article 14.13 stipulated that: “Party B agrees on not establishing any real estate intermediate organ or office within 75kms surrounding the approved place or any franchise store of CENTURY 21 to operate the franchise business as defined in this Contract within two years after this Contract expires or is terminated ahead of schedule.” On May 16th, 2005, Jiayuan Company reached some agreements with Sandery Company on issues concerning terminating the Franchise Contract and concluded the Agreement on Terminating the Contract, which stipulated in Article 4 that Jiayuan Company shall hand back the original Franchise Contract and its annexes and in Article 5 that Jiayuan Company shall be still obliged by the clauses on prohibiting business strife and keeping trade secrets as stipulated in the Franchise Contract after the Contract is terminated. 上述事实,有原告家园公司与被告森得瑞公司签订的《加盟特许经营合同》及《解除合同协议书》在案为证,足以认定。
...... 天津市津南区人民法院认为:
 原告家园公司和被告森得瑞公司 2004年3月9日签订的《加盟特许经营合同》和2005年5月16日签订的《解除合同协议书》,均系双方真实意思表示,也没有违反国家法律、法规,应认定合法有效。依法成立的合同自成立之日起生效。当事人依法享有自愿订立合同和解除合同的权利。家园公司与森得瑞公司是在平等协商的前提下自愿达成的协议,双方约定的竞业禁止条款及保守商业秘密条款,并不明显违反公平原则,因此家园公司以显失公平为由主张撤销2005年5月16日《解除合同协议书》中第五条的约定,没有事实依据和法律依据,不予支持。
 据此,天津市津南区人民法院依照《中华人民共和国民法通则》(以下简称民法通则)第四条,《中华人民共和国合同法》(以下简称合同法)第六条、第八条、第三十二条、第六十条,《中华人民共和国民事诉讼法》(以下简称民事诉讼法)第六十四条第一款,最高人民法院《关于民事诉讼证据的若干规定》(以下简称证据规则)第二条第一款、第二款的规定,判决:
 ......

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