For the current situation I would like to know if I am morally wrong, not whether I would win in a court room. So it's primarily opinion based, but that's the point: I don't believe I have done anything wrong but the other party clearly does so I'm starting to wonder and looking for opinions.
I am a freelancer who worked mainly for one company, company A, for a number of years. I have some small projects on the side that have recently become significantly larger, so I have stopped working for company A. During my last months at company A, I made a template that is quite useful to clients as it helps them to comply with some aspect of a law. I never invoiced them for the time spent on making the template. I never said I would use the template elsewhere, I never said I wouldn't either.
So company A has been using this template, but only gave it to selected clients. In general they believe it's necessary to not share templates because they believe it sets them apart from the competition and thus represents real money.
I have also been using this template: I put it on a website and regularly distribute it at training sessions I give. I also put my logo on it. Company A saw this, and now claims I am not allowed to use the template because it's theirs.
-- full disclosure --
When I started working on the template I talked about it to one of the managing partners of company A and she pointed me to some good resources that helped me make the template. Another employee also spent an hour or two improving the template, based on my instructions.
Am I right in believing I did nothing wrong by distributing the template freely with my logo, or is company A correct in saying the template is theirs and I have an ethics problem? (yes, those are their words)