McVitie’s has been forced to change the packaging of its fig rolls for the Irish Republic after rival supplier Jacob Fruitfield (Jacob’s) argued it was a copycat of its own packaging.

McVitie’s will have to stop distribution of an estimated 60,000 existing fig roll packets, although it does not have to recall packs already in stores.

It was alleged in court that McVitie’s packaging on its fig rolls, as well as cream crackers, was very similar to that used by Jacob’s on its best-selling brands, which could create confusion in consumers’ minds.

McVitie’s had argued that its packaging design had been independently arrived at.

Mr Justice Frank Clarke said that Jacob’s had made a justifiable case for its fig rolls, but not its cream crackers. Jacob’s had sought an injunction against the launch of both the fig rolls and cream crackers ahead of a full hearing, which is unlikely to be heard before the New Year.