Thousands of packets of McVitie's fig rolls in the Irish Republic may have to be destroyed because of a dispute over their packaging.

The High Court in Dublin granted an injunction to an Irish company, Jacobs, preventing their sale by McVitie's and its parent United Biscuits on the grounds that they were "packaged in a manner confusingly similar to a Jacobs product".

About 50,000 packets are involved, the court heard, with some already on supermarket shelves and the rest stored in warehouses.

Jacobs accused United Biscuits of "passing off" McVitie's fig rolls by using packaging similar to its own products.

McVitie's denied imitating Jacobs packaging. The court heard the company had agreed to alter the packaging on both products, but that the new version could not be launched until next year.

Judge Frank Clark ordered a ban on the sale of the fig rolls which, because of hygiene issues related to repackaging them, may now have to be destroyed.

The court rejected a similar claim by Jacobs regarding McVitie's cream crackers. The injunction will remain in force until a full court hearing of the packaging dispute between the companies, which may not take place until early next year.